Cliff Pennington's calling card was always his defensive versatility more so than his offensive capabilities, but no matter what way you slice it, 2016 showed more decline. The utility infielder's troubles began right out of the gate, as he injured his hamstring in the early going. Then, once it seemed like he was back to full health, he aggravated the injury just a few days after being activated off the disabled list. Even when he was active, however, his production was dreadful. The 32-year-old stumbled to the finish line with a .209 batting average while striking out nearly 30 percent of the time. Pennington is slated to spend the 2017 season as a reserve infielder for the Angels, which limits his already low ceiling for fantasy production. Extenuating circumstances are needed for him to make virtually any fantasy impact going forward.
Pennington entered Friday's game after Yunel Escobar went down with a non-contact injury. He went 0-for-3 in a loss to Toronto. It is still unclear what exactly caused Escobar to leave Friday's contest, but Pennington should be the main beneficiary of playing time should the Angels' third baseman miss any time. The 32-year-old has struggled as a backup this season, slashing just .182/.357/.182, but with a little bit of pop and speed, he could get some deep-league looks as a middle infielder if Escobar hits the disabled list.
Pennington got a spot start at short Sunday, going 1-for-3 in a loss to the Royals. Sunday's start was Pennington's first of the season. With neither of the Angels' starting middle infielders being affected by splits, the veteran will only see starts on scheduled rest days this season.
Pennington (shoulder) is back in the Angels' lineup Thursday, The Orange County Register's Jeff Fletcher reports. Pennington has been held out of action for the past week with a minor shoulder injury. The veteran infielder said he is feeling fine now, and his appearance in Thursday's starting lineup confirms that statement. Assuming he doesn't suffer a setback, Pennington should make the Opening Day roster as a backup infielder.
Pennington exited Friday's Cactus League game for precautionary reasons after experiencing right shoulder tightness, Maria Guardado of MLB.com reports. Pennington only played through the first inning before he was replaced at second base by Matt Williams. Consider him day-to-day for now.
Pennington (illness) is back in the lineup for Sunday's Cactus League game against the Athletics, Maria Guardado of MLB.com reports. Pennington had been recovering from flu-like symptoms over the last few days, but he'll be back in action at second base Sunday. The veteran infielder is competing for a utility role with the Angels, but even if he makes the Opening Day roster, don't expect him to see enough at-bats to make much of an impact in the fantasy realm.
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